Artist’s Statement 2016
My everyday surroundings in Connecticut by the sea are vast resource of inspiration. I am continually influenced by shore grasses bending in the breeze, blue skies reflected in the cool water, and extraordinary trees silhouetted against green lawns.
The French magazine LUX called my work “the new Impressionism.” Impressionism is defined as a “style that seeks to capture a feeling or experience of a specific moment in time rather than to achieve accurate depiction.” Although I used the Impressionist’s palette, I consider myself an Expressionist. I wish to convey the emotion of the moment not craft a duplicate of the scene. As I often say, it is a poem not a police report. I am energized by the complexity and ambiguity of the landscape. I look for balance, not symmetry, as I impose a design within the chaos. In my work I seek emotion on a foundation of design.
As far as the process is concerned, GESTURE and COLOR come together to create emotion, direction and passion. Whether it is large strokes across a canvas or the type of tool used…squeegee, spatula, brush…or the softening of edges…the GESTURE is the soul of the painting. COLOR is the joy. When one color is placed next to another, each modifies the other. This “simultaneous contrast” is what makes a color “sing” or vibrate.
In my most recent VERTICAL TRIPTYCHS I have tried to bring the subject matter very close to the surface…so the viewer is almost in the painting and can truly experience it. In the recent painting “Flora Against Blue Sky” one sees the intertwining organic vegetation, looks up and feels engulfed in the experience. To create this I stained the canvas with a gamboge yellow then covered it completely with a special formula of purple and green. Following that I used a squeegee to rhythmically “dance” across the canvas to reveal leaves and vines.
The VERTICAL TRIPTYCH “Super Storm Sandy” was painted to rid myself of the horrible experience of remaining in my home and witnessing this monster hurricane. The observer experiences swirling foamy white “water” just like the gigantic waves breaking over the sea wall during the storm.
“Lily Pads in Blue Water” is inspired by a recent trip to the Caribbean. I was so taken with gracefulness of the lilies that I had to paint this long and narrow lily pond. One cannot help but think of Monet’s lilies, but this is my variation. Covering the canvas with paint and revealing the new image is very freeing and melodic.
I love this new technique. I also feel that the VERTICAL TRIPTYCH is dynamic, though it reads just as well when hung horizontally. Currently, in my studio, it is the subject matter that inspires me, but the paint that compels me.
Jan Dilenschneider in her studio
Jan Dilenschneider at work